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Comment: Re:Sure it is (Score 1) 448

by k10quaint (#41856243) Attached to: Atlantic Hurricane Season 30 Percent Stronger Than Normal

No. I haven't read that one and neither of you since Peter and the Wolf is a 1936 classical composition by Sergei Prokofiev, where the boy beats the wolf at the end and rescues his animal friends.

I believe what you meant to refer to is the Aesop fable of the Boy Who Cried Wolf .

Thanks for playing though.

Witty, true, apropos, and timely.
However, if the science deniers were interested in facts to begin with, you would not have needed to post that correction. ;)
I did get a kick out of the nitwit telling people to read Peter and the Wolf though.

Comment: Re:Sure it is (Score 4, Insightful) 448

by k10quaint (#41855897) Attached to: Atlantic Hurricane Season 30 Percent Stronger Than Normal
Actually, we (the set of people who took statistics classes in college) will continue to attribute the increased frequency of extreme weather events to global warming. Some of us (the set of people who also possess a sense of humor) will continue to point and laugh at the deniers and lump them in with the birthers, creationists, and moon landing hoax folks. Categorical denial of science is a disease that cannot be cured, only prevented. Educate your children, it is the only effective vaccination against idiocy.

Comment: Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (Score 1) 628

by k10quaint (#39771081) Attached to: University of Florida Eliminates Computer Science Department
You are arguing about semantics. What is, and what isn't a department etc. RTFA alert. If MIT or Cal was "eliminating all funding for teaching assistants in computer science, cutting the graduate and research programs entirely", you would flip the fsck out. Who cares what department what was in when. No more MS or PHDs in CS is a huge blow to the "program" (and I use that word losely and ironically).

Comment: Re:Obvious (Score 1) 1128

Blind faith in scientists is as illogical as blind faith in priests.

Science involves no faith. This fundamental misrepresentation of science as just another faith (with scientists acting as priests) is eating away at the US like a cancer. Science by definition is based on logic and data and is verifiable by external parties. In many ways science is the opposite of faith. When something is true, it is true whether or not you believe it to be so.

Comment: Re:Obvious (Score 2) 1128

It sure is strange that the reality of the pump prices and the deficit counters around the country seem to show that the idea of liberal economic policies working to be more of a dream than reality.

Too bad it was conservative economic and foreign polices that brought us the wars and the recession in the first place. Go figure that repairing the worlds largest economy is costing a lot of cash. At least one of the wars is finally over. But it is clearly Obama's fault that Iran is going for the nukes instead of Iraq... (The preceding sentence is sarcasm, I know conservatives have a hard time with that too.)

Comment: Re:Arbitrage buys profit at the expense of trust (Score 1) 629

by k10quaint (#38252582) Attached to: Fed Gave Banks Eye-Popping Emergency Loans, Without Telling Congress

The alternative was banks start to go bust because they could not finance their day to day activities.

If private banks cannot finance their day to day activities, their mismanagement should not be financed by the public. That just privatizes profit while socializing loss. There's not just one alternative, as you describe, but two: either the banks need to be allowed to fail (the "let it all burn" position, which I think we both agree is probably very unwise) or the funds need to be given only on the condition that the banks surrender their right to mismanage themselves: there need to be strings attached to public monies that go to private businesses. I'm sure the libertarians will mod that into oblivion, but they ought to be focusing their anger on the interference in the market represented by the lending of public funds in the first place: once you've interfered in the free market, you might as well go all the way and demand systemic changes to the institutions taking the public money. Sure, bailing out the banks is feasible, but that doesn't mean handing them a blank check to run an arbitrage scheme to buy Treasuries, and it sure doesn't mean handing them money without strings. Taking public money ought always to be a devil's bargain.

No money was "handed out". It was loaned against collateral (mostly treasuries and GSE bonds). People are conflating the lending of last resort function of the Federal Reserve with the bailouts of the Treasury (TARP, et al). The whole reason Europe is on fire is because the ECB isn't the lender of last resort like the Federal Reserve is. We get to watch in real time as the second largest global currency evaporates in large part because it lacks this backstop.

Comment: Re:Arbitrage buys profit at the expense of trust (Score 1, Informative) 629

by k10quaint (#38251934) Attached to: Fed Gave Banks Eye-Popping Emergency Loans, Without Telling Congress

The real issue here isn't that the Fed made money available, but the disparity of interest rates between that at which the money was available to select parties and that which the open market would bear: that let the banks borrow massive quantities at virtually no interest, only to lend it back out at much higher interest rates. Pure arbitrage between the "emergency" funds' near-zero interest rate on a restricted market and the open market's willingness to pay interest. It's not even clear that the banks taking the loans were unhealthy--they may have just recognized the profitability of free temporary money that could be loaned out for more than it cost (arbitrage).

The alternative was banks start to go bust because they could not finance their day to day activities. Would that have been a problem given how smoothly Lehman Brothers went? The few billion the banks made on the discount window was dwarfed by the hundreds of billions they were hemorrhaging in asset and loan losses. The LIBOR rates of the open market were crazy high, and there was no liquidity behind them so using those rates for a comparison to determine "what the banks made" isn't really proper accounting. As soon as there was liquidity available and interbank lending started again, the LIBOR rates fell dramatically.

Comment: Re:So we can dismiss Colorado's DNR as well? (Score 1) 390

by k10quaint (#36083348) Attached to: High-Tech Gas Drilling Is Fouling Drinking Water
What is the state of the well on your grandparents property now? (I am curious, I am not implying anything nor am I taking sides in the debate)

Also, the study found methane in groundwater near gas wells (implying that the fraccing forced some gas out of the shale and into the water), they did not find fraccing fluids in the water. Thus, this is not a case of failed holding ponds spilling the fluid into the ground water. It could also be systemic failed well casings leaking gas into the ground and thus into the water supply, but I think that less likely.

"We found no evidence for contamination of drinking-water samples with deep saline brines or fracturing fluids."

Comment: Re:GE's response . (Score 2) 436

by k10quaint (#35641716) Attached to: US Competitiveness Chief Immelt's GE Tax Bill: $0
If you read the fine print you will discover why GE got such a large tax credit:
http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/40545/000119312510246292/d10q.htm
http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/40545/000119312510173396/d10q.htm
http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/40545/000004054509000071/frm10q.htm

Corporations pay taxes in the countries they operate in. They report financials for each of those countries, and they file taxes in each of those countries. GEFS also known as GE Capital is based in the US and its primary business here (which was giving out crap loans, but thats another story) was what generated the losses in 2008-9. So, the bulk of GE's losses in the 2008-9 meltdown came from its financial services, the bulk of those loses were conducted in the US and thus the bulk of their tax right offs did as well. The other business units in GE US operations are high revenue low margin businesses, and thus have little profit to offset against the losses.

It is patently unfair to include the entire results of the GE holding company's corporate profits, for which they pay taxes on to multiple countries, and then claim that they must be double taxed by the United States for business not conducted in the US. Granted, they locate a lot of their leasing business in low tax countries like Singapore and Ireland, but those profits are not "American Profits" if they leave them offshore.

As for that New York Times article, their smoking gun is that GE has been paying a smaller percentage of their overall profits to the IRS over the last 5 years. That is because their China, India, and Brazil business have grown like crazy in the last decade. They also bring this up after GE gets a monster tax credit from having GE Capital nearly implode in 2008, which skews the results of the last 2 years.

The key to the situation is this (and I quote from the NYtimes article):
"If G.E. financed the sale of a jet engine or generator in Ireland, for example, the company would no longer have to pay American tax on the interest income as long as the profits remained offshore." So if they take those profits from a subsidiary in Ireland and reinvest it all in their Irish business, they don't have to pay any taxes to the IRS on it. Is that wrong? I dunno, its been the law for over a decade. I think it was passed under Clinton. Since lately, the lions share of GE's profits have come from their financial services, the lions share of their taxes are subject to that law.

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